Why the right shoes and socks are so important for beginners on a hiking holiday
The most important things in brief
- The success of a summer hiking holiday depends on a number of factors. Especially as a beginner hiker, you often make avoidable mistakes.
- You have a great deal of influence on many of them yourself - for example on choosing the right shoes so that the tours don't become torture.
- But the socks also play a key role in making you feel comfortable in your shoes and ready to set off in the morning.
- But just in case, don't forget blister plasters at home.
Quite a few hikers who have just started to discover touring give up after a short time. The reason is mostly to be found in the fact that they chose the wrong equipment. In addition to the shoes, the socks also play an important role.
The shoes must match the project
Anyone who starts with smaller laps on well-paved paths does not immediately need hiking shoes that you would take with you on a trekking tour in the Himalayas. A pair of sturdy sports shoes with an intact sole, which should have a profile and be non-slip, are sufficient for this. These shoes are also nice and light in terms of weight.
However, when longer tours on unpaved surfaces are planned, sports shoes are no longer sufficient. Especially in higher regions, the terrain is often impassable, and it is not uncommon for the weather to make the paths and paths simply impassable with light shoes. Now you need the right hiking boots - and you shouldn't just order them on the internet at random. Nothing replaces trying it on in a specialist shop. Once the shoes have been bought, you should not leave them in the basement until the start of the tour, but break them in at least a couple of times.
Breaking in the shoes and choice of socks
Unfortunately, when you try them on in a shoe shop, it is not always possible to say with certainty how good the chosen hiking and trekking shoes really are for your feet. In quite a few cases, the shoes turn out to be very good only after they have been broken in - and you have to go through a steel bath during the break-in, which leaves you with blisters on your feet. Unpleasant, but not too rare. In any case, the symptoms can be alleviated with a small supply of blister plasters.
So to the socks. They also play an important role. You can wear the most expensive and supposedly best shoes - they won't help you much if you don't have the right socks. The cotton socks that you usually wear to play football or tennis are definitely not suitable, as they soak up sweat in a very short time. You need socks that, so to speak, pass the sweat on to the shoe, which in turn releases the resulting moisture through its shell to the environment.
Don't skimp on hiking socks
For many aspiring route hikers, socks are where they save money, but that's a mistake. It has to be special hiking socks made of mixed fabrics (wool and synthetics) that wick sweat away to the outside. Make sure that the socks are not only reinforced with padding on the heels, but also on the toes.
Anyone who wants to relieve their leg joints and feet – especially on a longer descent – can also use so-called telescopic poles, which are length-adjustable and at the same time increase sure-footedness.
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